Getting out of the airport was easy as well. Good signage, clear lanes - easy. Then you hit Catania. Oh. My. God.
Catania is a town that Sicilians love to hate. I heard all kinds of negatives and slanders about Catania from Sicilians all over the island. However, we found that Catania has its own beauty, albeit a crumbling beauty. The nightlife is exciting and there is a vibrancy amongst its people that we really appreciated. Yet just around the corner in Acireale you can find traditional Sicily.
|Set up for a midnight jazz concert in Catania|
|An Acireale fisherman heading out into the bay just as his father, grandfather, |
and great grandfather did.
The roads in Catania are wide for the most part, and easy to drive, with three exceptions:
- There are one way streets everywhere.
- Both streets and lanes merge without warning.
- The drivers in Catania are CRAZY.
I wish I could say that getting out of Catania was as easy as Palermo (which is not particularly easy) but it is not. There are several autostrada to choose from and if you find yourself on the wrong one, you could be heading towards a part of the island that you had no intention of visiting.
If you take the Viale Mediterraneo you will get to autostrada E45 also known as A18. North takes you up towards Taormina and Messina and south takes you towards Siracusa (Syracuse) as far as Rosolini.
To get to the autostrada that will take you west through the centre of the island, you will have to take E932 also known as A19. This autostrada will take you west as far as Enna and then north to the E90 about halfway between Termini Imerese and Cefalu'.
The traffic as you either leave or enter Catania is busy and impatient. Be prepared for people cutting in front of you, honking and waving their arms rudely. Just take it all as part of the Sicilian experience!
|Heading to a toll booth into Catania|